This 'great blue heron' I photographed on the river Enz in Pforheim, Germany. They are similar to the more common grey heron but are larger and tend to have a blueish grey colouring with less white than the typical grey heron. However, that said the great blue heron cannot be found in the Collins bird watcher's bible of European birds, other than mentioned as an accidental. So is this a mistake in Collins bird book or are these herons just extra large grey herons with slightly different colours. Who knows, who cares. I like the sound of the great blue heron and it seems quite an appropriate name. I have photographed them a number of times in Germany and at least once in Spain so I would not call them accidentals.